JUN
07
2011

Not So Quiet Time For Mom

Do you ever wonder how those mom’s who seem to have it all together get time for their own devotions? Are you laughing right now because you thought I had it all together?

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Well I don’t…and getting quiet time with my Jesus is something that I struggle with.

S-T-R-U-G-G-L-E.

However, I figure it must be worth it or it wouldn’t be such a struggle, so I persevere! Some days get started off right and flow so well that I vow to start my day off in the Word for the rest of my life. Then tomorrow comes…and something happens…like the baby decides to take her diaper off and smear poop all over…that cause me to leap out of bed only to land into a day of disasters.

So what does the quiet time of a homeschooling mom of 4 look like? Well, let’s start with my dream scenario. I like dreaming. Plus things always work out in my dreams.

Aaah…I start the day off being awaken gently by the whispering of my husband who has informed me that he’s gotten up with all the children and they are downstairs finishing dishes from breakfast and beginning their morning devotions. He tells me to take a few minutes to myself and spend some time in the Word before I begin my morning routine.

There’s a sweet little red breasted bird outside my window singing a welcoming song to the sun as I crack open my velvety soft Bible, and begin to soak in the richness of Jesus. I spend quality time in the Word with no distractions, then another half hour in prayer.

After that I meander to the shower where I get refreshed and ready for the day ahead. I saunter down to the kitchen where I find all 4 of my children. They are sitting at the kitchen table discussing ways they can be kind to one another today after reading through Ephesians 4:32.

We spend the afternoon as a family sitting beneath a large oak tree, listening to a gentle stream flowing by as we read through the gospel of Matthew. We spend time together, laughing and just having fun before heading home for a wholesome home cooked meal (apparently cooked by fairies since I’ve been by the stream all day).

The kids graciously offer to get themselves ready for bed, then my husband and I spend a few minutes with each child individually asking how their day went and just listening to them as they talk soaking in every minute of our time together. Alas, the day is done and my husband and I have some free time to relax and enjoy each other’s company before the next dawn arises.

I really should just end there, but in the spirit of keeping it real here’s a more accurate account of what actually happens…

I’ve resigned myself to the fact that the term “Quiet Time” just may not apply to my life right now. With 4 children (ages 8, 7, 5, and 2) the term quiet just isn’t exactly…uhem…accurate.

Despite my efforts, I tend to stay up way to late at night in order to get out of bed with my little red breasted friend. (I am working on this…) So planning an early morning devotion never seems to work out so well for me. (I know, I know, you have to work at it…and I am…its on my “to-do” list.)

Honestly some days the only devotions I actually get are the ones that I do with my kids. And you know what? I think that’s okay. It’s a season that I’m in and I absolutely get things out of the time we spend together in the Word. Now, I do still aim for my own time alone with God, it’s just that some days it’s hard to come by, and so for me it ends up usually being done at night.

I wouldn’t entirely suggest the nigh-time plan as I often find myself thinking “Well, I really could’ve used that encouragement about 8 hours ago!”. But I take what I can get right now.

I realize that my children are not going to be with me for very long and so spending time with them, especially in God’s Word is precious! Once I came to this realization it really changed my view of “quiet time”! Instead of hiding in the laundry room in order to get just 2 minutes of peace, I’ve decided to include my children in my quiet time. After all I’m to be a model for my children, and if they never see me doing quiet time or leading them in quiet time, how are they supposed to know what to do?

So here are some things that work for us:

1. Every afternoon during the Teeny Tot’s naptime, we all grab our own Bible. Everyone find’s a spot on the couch and we read silently to ourselves. It’s like a corporate quiet time if you will ;o) My preschooler has her own bible and she mostly just looks at pictures and such, but she’s still required to be quiet during this time.

2. Pick a verse for the day, and keep your bible open to it. Leave the bible on your kitchen counter, or somewhere that you frequent. Each time you walk by, read your verse again and think of a way to apply it to your what’s going on today. Feel free to read the passage out loud to your children too, it’s a great reminder to them as well.

3. Write encouraging verses on post its and stick them on the refrigerator, bathroom mirrors, and in your car. Make it a game with your children to see who can find the hidden verses for the day.

4. I have found that there is at least one point of time in each day where I find myself with literally a few free minutes. The kids are playing happily and I’m contemplating my next move. When this time comes, I challenge you to pull out your Bible (make sure you have some laying around in rooms you frequent) and take that opportunity to spend a few precious minutes with your Jesus. I consider this my first fruits, the first time of the day where I’m not overwhelmed with demands. I have a choice to either give that time to God, or to something else.

5. Pray for God’s help. I pray constantly and I know it may sound ironic but I also pray that God will remind me to get into the Word. Some days get so hectic that I literally forget until I crawl into bed at night and start to relax. Suddenly I realize that I’ve not even so much as cracked my Bible! Now I keep a small Bible by my bedside so that I can grab it easily for days such as this. While we’re on the topic, make sure to keep in prayer all through the day. Constant communication with God will make your relationship stronger!

6. Keep a Bible in your car. I know it sounds funny, but I do my best to help myself out. To be my own personal assistant. No I don’t give my faux-assistant a name. So in an attempt to set myself up for success, we have Bibles all over the house and one in our cars. I also have one on my iPhone so that no matter where I am if I find a few extra minutes I have no excuses not to get into the Word, even if it’s just for a few minutes.

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(Yes, that sweet little pink thing is my Bible! Hey, don’t laugh this bad boy fits right into my purse!)

Some things on my bookshelf right now that I’m LOVING:

Looking for more? Here are some Bible Studies I recommend:

Bibles for Children:

And please remember, each of us are unique and what works for one mom, may not work for you, so give yourself a break, find what works for your family right now and go with it. God will bless your choice to spend time with him no matter what time of day it is!

What does your quiet time look like? I’d love to hear what works for you all!

Visit Granola Mom 4 God to see what some other mom’s have said about their time!

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Comments

  1. my quiet time happens either in the afternoon, after our homeschooling activities or just after dinner before bedtime…

  2. I have this Busy Mom's Bible:http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/product?item_no=435570&item;_code=WW&netp;_id=854236&event;=ESRCN&view;=detailsIt has devotions for when you only have one minute, or five minutes, or ten minutes. Just perfect for those busy times! And it's pink! :) (It also comes in blue/green.)

  3. I like how you specified "works for your family RIGHT NOW". I keep thinking, "This is not working! With a 6, 4, 2, and 1 year old (a stubborn 1 yr old who has broken my perfect record of sleep through the night babies), I cannot seem to EVER find any sort of routine, schedule, plan that works." And then I think, "Well, maybe it will when ______ is out of his stage of whatever or when __________ finally sleeps through the night at least once or when my youngest is 2, instead of a bitty one." But you know, it's not a matter of one day all the ducks line up perfectly so that the way I want things will work. It's a matter of finding a way to get with God that works NOW. Because now will not always be here.

  4. I recently blogged about a few ideas for finding those quiet moments at my blog homekeepers.wordpress.com. The blog post was Devotional Tips for Young Moms and Other Busy Women. Here's the short link: http://wp.me/psKVr-ma I'm bad about talking myself out of getting up when the alarm goes off. So, I've started saying, "I need discipline not discussion" every time that rude blaring opens my day. It's helped a lot.

  5. This is a great post with some practical tips! Love it! One of the things I have done over the course of time is to take scriptures that have really touched me while reading the Bible and put them onto 3×5 note cards. I then place them in a pink (haha! Same color as your Bible!) 3×5 note card box and when I can't get into the Word, I will pull out a scripture card from the box and clip it to my bird picture holder above my kitchen sink where I can see it throughout the day!

  6. My quiet times tend to be during nap time…and now that my 4 yo doesn't always do that, nor does she like the idea of quiet time…it gets hard. Good ideas! Thank you!

  7. As soon as I get up I do my Bible reading and prayer time or it doesn't get done. I do this with my kids up and playing around me. If they want something that isn't urgent I just say I can't right now I'm doing my Bible reading. They have seen the things I do for devotions and my oldest has started copying some of those things. My rule is no food for me until I get my spiritual food. After my devotional time then I make everyone breakfast. We do have a family Bible time too. I agree with you that it is good for kids to see us pray and read the Bible or they would never know what a devotional time looks like or that we are even doing it. I have heard testimonies of adults who grew up in Christian homes and said how much it impacted them to see their mom on her knees or in the Word.

  8. I so rarely get a quiet time and I know this causes huge attitude problems and focus issues in my life. Even when I rise early to sneak some time in with God, the children seem to sense it and as soon as I get two verses into the Bible, here they come.Thanks so much for this post. It was a real encouragement to me.

    • I have the same issue! My kids are up at the crack of dawn or if I try to get up earlier than them, they seem to sense I am awake. It really makes mornings tough since it just starts all at once and not gradually (and continues like that all day!). I honestly never thought about incorporating the kids into my quiet time. Great idea, thanks for the words of wisdom and encouragement.

  9. Thank you for this post. As a homeschool mom w/ 4 I struggle too! I have come up with a plan…. during the afternoon when my 2 year naps & the 2 oldest have quite time I will spend time w/ Jesus. BTW – I keep a Bible in my car too – I have for years! :)

  10. Are you sure your not talking to me in this post? you just described my Not so quiet time…I love the tips at the end especially the quitet time all together(definitely gone to try that with my 4). Thanks for your honesty, its good to know other homeschooling moms are like me(not so perfect).

  11. Latasha barr says:

    I really appreciate this post!I wrote a post that I have not published yet about mom bloggers who seemed to ave it all together and you are one of the moms I had in mind when writing the post lol. Thanks for being so open and so honest. The suggestions are great as well.

  12. Great post! Thanks also for the reading recommendations. I love doing devotions with my girls.

  13. Stopping by from Living Well Wednesdays.Thanks for all the links in this post … and for letting my know that other moms find it impossible to find any "quiet" in their homes too. I so badly need to get back in the habit of at least trying to spend time in the word … its been a long tough month and its time to make more of an effort.Thanks for this post!

  14. Nice! I laugh that you call it, This little "bad boy." LOL! So cute! I want one!

  15. Thanks for this post, I needed it becuase lately I have been struggling about not finding time to have quiet time. Before I got pregnant with our 6th child(due in August) I was up at 5 every morning having quiet time, exercising and doing my other morning things before the kids got up at 6:00. Now I barely make it out of bed before one of my kids gets up any where between 5:30 and 6:00. My kids range in age from 9 down to 19 months, I always have someone up in the mornings and that seemed to be the best time for me. Now it seems it gets pushed to the side and I want that time back. I love all your ideas and will start doing some today. Thanks again.

  16. I have an app on my ipod that has my scriptures on it so whenever I get a chance I can read for a minute, even if it's one verse.

  17. Still laughing about the red breasted bird! Alas, if all our mornings were this glorious. Back to reality, thank you so much for the encouraging words, and pointing us to the true Encourager.

  18. I felt calm just reading your “dream”. :)
    A couple weeks before Christmas I signed up to have Bible Gateway deliver a portion of scriptures to my inbox (read through the Bible in 365 days) and I can’t believe how it has helped me to be in the Word every day. Not that it’s quiet (I also have 4 kids similar ages), or a long reading time, or even all done at once, but I am happy with the baby step of being in God’s Word daily.

  19. Lorelie Yuzek says:

    I really love the idea of everybody having their own Bible to sit and look at/read. I think I can incorporate this after nap time! This is a fantastic idea and comes just in time for Christmas gift ideas!!

    ALSO if anyone hasn’t read The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones and illustrated by Jago…WOW. This children’s Bible has literally given me a new perspective on these incredible Bible stories. And the kids are GLUED to the pages as I read.

    Thanks!!

  20. Thanks so much for sharing this… i’m currently mulling over this in my head and my heart as to how I can improve my time with God each day. And you’ve made it clear to me that I can and should… and given me some ways I can do this. I also think we can increase the time our two girls (4 and 2) spend in the word also. Many thanks for your encouragement.

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